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Bayfield football claims third state championship in rout of La Junta

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Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 4:44 PM

BAYFIELD – State records were meaningless to the Bayfield High School football team Saturday. All that mattered was winning the state championship.

Powered by a historic defense, Bayfield delivered in front of 5,000-plus fans at Wolverine Country Stadium in Bayfield in the first state title game played in La Plata County since 1968. Behind three touchdown passes for junior quarterback Hayden Farmer, and nine sacks and two interceptions from the defense, Bayfield (13-0) blasted defending champion La Junta 34-7 to claim the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship.

“It’s all about that ring,” said Bayfield senior defensive end Ryan Phelps, who had four sacks in the win to reach 24 sacks for the season, the new state record. “That’s all we cared about. I didn’t care if I made a tackle as long as we won it as a team. It doesn’t matter who gets the glory as an individual, just win the state title.”

Saturday’s win gave Bayfield its third state championship in school history, adding to the trophies earned in 1996 and 2015. For head coach Gary Heide, it was his second state championship in his sixth season coaching the Wolverines.

“I’m going to think about this team being great and the greatness they displayed for 13 games,” coach Heide said. “To play this stellar La Junta Tigers program took us being great the previous 12 games, and to be great we had to win the last one.”

Farmer finished 7-of-12 passing for 109 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The Wolverines rushed for 105 yards as a team on 32 carries. La Junta was held to negative rushing yards and only a handful of first downs. Junior quarterback Jon Nuschy finished 7-of-14 passing for 57 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

The Bayfield defensive line relentlessly pressured La Junta all game, taking away the run and forcing bad passes.

“That’s the best team in the state, and they were better than us today,” La Junta head coach Clint Buderus said. “Their front seven was really tough. We couldn’t run the ball against them and fell behind, and trying to throw against them was tough, too. We kind of fell behind the eight-ball, and against a defense as good as they have, you can’t play from behind.”

Bayfield jumped out to an early 20-0 lead behind two touchdown passes from Farmer. The two teams exchanged punts after their first possessions, and another La Junta three-and-out gave Bayfield the ball on the La Junta 44-yard line. Six plays later, Farmer hit Carl Heide on a 12-yard touchdown pass on play action. Farmer faked a handoff to Heide, who wheeled around the left sideline and hauled in the pass with no defenders around him. Chris Mooney made the extra point, and Bayfield led 7-0 with 3 minutes, 29 seconds to play in the first quarter.

“That’s a play we worked on since the beginning of the playoffs,” Carl Heide said. “We fake the rollout and throw it back to the backside. I knew I had to catch it. It was probably the hardest catch I’ve ever made looking upward and not being able to see it. Once I got in the end zone, it was the greatest feeling to start the game off right.”

The Wolverines added one more score at the first-quarter buzzer, as Farmer hit Dax Snooks with a 15-yard TD pass in the back right corner of the end zone. It was Farmer’s 15th touchdown pass of the season to Snooks, and it gave the Wolverines a 14-0 lead after one quarter.

“Being able to have that touchdown in the state title game, I’ll remember that forever,” Snooks said. “To go up over someone and grab it, it was huge.”

Mike Kirk and Cole Wood of Bayfield High School take down La Junta quarterback Jon Nuschy during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS.

Keyon Prior made a brilliant interception on La Junta’s fourth possession of the game. Nuschy rolled to his right to evade pressure and tried to throw the ball out of bounds near midfield. Prior alertly tapped his toes in bounds, dove for the ball and secured the interception at the La Junta 47-yard line. Behind powerful runs from David Hawkins, the Wolverines got inside the La Junta 5-yard line before Carl Heide dove in for a touchdown from 3 yards out. Mooney missed the extra point, but Bayfield led 20-0 with 5:45 to play in the first half.

“I wanted to make a big play for my team,” Prior said of his interception. “It helped momentum. We went down and scored and got up 20-zip. In high school football, it’s a game of momentum and momentum shifts. Once it shifted our way, it was a great feeling.”

La Junta didn’t pick up a first down until the final minute of the first half. Nuschy scrambled and hit Zach Archuleta for an 11-yard gain, and Nuschy came up big again with a 12-yard pass to Wyatt Buhr.

Bayfield’s sack master, Phelps, was held on the play, but no flag was thrown. Three plays later, and after Prior was flagged for pass interference, Nuschy hit Kain Direzza on a 10-yard TD pass to cut Bayfield’s lead to 20-7 with 22 seconds to go in the half.

Bayfield took a knee and took the advantage into halftime.

Cole Wood of Bayfield High School celebrates after making an interception during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS.

“It was really important to get on the board, especially against a team like that,” Nuschy said. “They just came out today and pounded us inside, and we couldn’t move the ball very well. They’re just a really good team.”

Despite the promising drive to end the first half, the Tigers (11-2) never had much of a chance against the Bayfield pass rush in the second half.

Both teams were sluggish to start the second half, as the first four drives all ended with punts after three plays. But Bayfield’s defense went to work and piled up sacks against Nuschy and the Tigers late in the third quarter and into the fourth. Cole Wood had a sack with 9:15 to play in the third quarter to tie the previous Colorado record of 60 in one season, set by Discovery Canyon in 2014. A few plays later, Hawkins sacked Nuschy to break the sack record. Bayfield finished with nine sacks to push the record to 65. Wood added an interception in the second half, and he finished with three sacks and an interception, as he dove for a pass that was disrupted by a big hit from Phelps on Nuschy.

Phelps had four sacks in the game. That gave him 24 for the season, and that broke the previous state record of 23½ set by Pine Creek’s Jack Wibbels in 2015.

Quarterback Hayden Farmer of Bayfield High School throws down field during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS.

“We’ve been working on the sacks all year,” Wood said. “Me and (Phelps) had a competition, and the whole team was in on it trying to get that state record.”

The game was iced when Farmer hit Carl Heide for a 60-yard TD pass to extend the Bayfield lead to 27-7 with 8:25 to play. Hunter Killough added an 11-yard TD run to make it 34-7 late in the fourth quarter, and La Junta conceded to run out the clock from there.

“This feels amazing, I can’t even believe it,” Farmer said. “I’m still in shock. Our offensive line kicked butt all day in the trenches, and big plays won this game.”

With his twin sons, Carl and Dawson, set to graduate from Bayfield in the spring, coach Heide didn’t hesitate when asked if he would return to the sidelines with the Wolverines in 2018.

“I’ll always defend something I’ve earned, we’ve earned,” he said.

jlivingston@durangoherald.com

Gallery: Bayfield Football takes on La Junta

The Color Guard enters the field before the start of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
The Bayfield High School band enters the filed before the start of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield fans cheer on their team during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Keyon Prior of Bayfield High School keeps his balance during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Dax Snooks of Bayfield High School fights off tackles during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield fans cheer on their team during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Fans cheer on their teams during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Wyatt Killinen of Bayfield High School blocks during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School sideline calls in plays during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Cole Wood of Bayfield High School makes a tackle during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Fans cheer on Carl Heide of Bayfield High School after his touchdown during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Dawson Heide of Bayfield High School makes a catch during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Dax Snooks of Bayfield High School makes a catch during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School played tough during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Hunter Killough of Bayfield High School fights off tackles during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Cole Wood and Ryan Phelps of Bayfield High School take down the quarterback during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Keyon Prior of Bayfield High School looks down field during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Keyon Prior of Bayfield High School breaks up a pass during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Gary Heide head coach of Bayfield High School looks on during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School played tough during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School played tough during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School played tough during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School sideline calls in plays during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Mike Kirk and Cole Wood of Bayfield High School take down the quarterback during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Quarterback Hayden Farmer of Bayfield High School throws down field during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Kirk Malone of Bayfield High School looks on during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Dawson Heide of Bayfield High School makes a tackle during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Ryan Phelps of Bayfield High School gets excited during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Keyon Prior of Bayfield High School almost blocks a punt during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Cole Wood of Bayfield High School makes a tackle during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Cade Killough of Bayfield High School looks on during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School celebrate during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Cole Wood of Bayfield High School makes a tackle during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Kirk Malone of Bayfield High School hugs his little brother Hayes, 8, a ball boy, during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School players celebrate winning the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Cole Wood of Bayfield High School makes an interception during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Cole Wood of Bayfield High School makes an interception during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Cole Wood of Bayfield High School celebrates after making an interception during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Carl Heide of Bayfield High School looks down field during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School players celebrate winning the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School varsity football team poses with the 2-A State Championship trophy and banner after defeating La Junta on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School varsity head football coach Gary Heide gets a hug after his team wins the 2-A State Championship defeating La Junta on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Ryan Phelps, left, and Hunter Killough of Bayfield High School hug after winning the 2-A State Championship after defeating La Junta on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Ryan Phelps, left, and Hunter Killough of Bayfield High School hug after winning the 2-A State Championship after defeating La Junta on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
The Bayfield High School band enters the filed before the start of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School players touch the rock before the start of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School cheerleaders pose for a photo with the La Junta cheerleaders before the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game at BHS.Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
David Richardson of Bayfield High School touches the rock before the start of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Heral
Hunter Killough of Bayfield High School touches the rock before the start of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Dax Snooks of Bayfield High School wears a wolverine pelt before the start of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School played tough during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
The Bayfield football team pumps up before the start of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
The Color Guard enters the field before the start of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
The Bayfield football team stands for the National Anthem before the start of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School captains at the coin toss before the start of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School takes on La Junta High Schoo during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School takes on La Junta High Schoo during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School takes on La Junta High Schoo during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School head coach Gary Heide talks with his team at the half during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School head coach Gary Heide talks with his team at the half during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School head coach Gary Heide talks with his team at the half during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
The Bayfield High School football team takes the field after halftime during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School cheerleaders cheer on their team during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
The Bayfield High School football team jumps in excitement after a touchdown during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School cheerleaders cheer on their team during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Dax Snooks of Bayfield High School celebrates with family after winning the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Dax Snooks of Bayfield High School celebrates with family after winning the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Ryan Phelps of Bayfield High School becomes emotional before the end of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School players congratulate La Junta players at the end of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game that BHS won at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School head coach Gary Heide celebrates with his team after defeating La Junta High School in the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School head coach Gary Heide celebrates with his team after defeating La Junta High School in the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
The Bayfield High School football team after winning the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Kirk Malone of Bayfield High School kisses the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football championship trophy after winning the state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School seniors after winning the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School linemen after winning the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bayfield High School linebackers after winning the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Lots of fans on hand for the Bayfield High School Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Hunter Killough of the Bayfield High School is interview by Durango Herald sports editor John Livingston after winning the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Hayden Farmer quarterback of the Bayfield High School football team after winning the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS shows school trainer Brandi Wenzlau where his championship ring will go. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
The Bayfield High School football team wears stickers on their helmets for the season showing support for their quarterback Hayden Farmer’s late sister Shaniah Farmer shown during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

12 Images

Bayfield High School seniors posed with the state championship trophy after beating La Junta 34-7 in the CHSAA Class 2A football state title game Saturday at Wolverine Country Stadium in Bayfield.
The Bayfield High School football team celebrates with the CHSAA Class 2A state championship trophy and banner after defeating La Junta 34-7.
Ryan Phelps, left, and Hunter Killough of Bayfield High School hug after winning the Class 2A state championship after defeating La Junta on Saturday at BHS.
Cole Wood of Bayfield High School makes an interception during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS.
Cole Wood of Bayfield High School celebrates after making an interception during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS.
Carl Heide of Bayfield High School looks down field during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS.
The Bayfield defensive line relentlessly pressured La Junta all game, taking away the run and forcing bad passes.
Mike Kirk and Cole Wood of Bayfield High School take down La Junta quarterback Jon Nuschy during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS.
Ryan Phelps of Bayfield High School had three more sacks Saturday in the CHSAA Class 2A state football championship. He finished with 23 for the season.
Cole Wood of Bayfield High School makes a tackle during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS.
Quarterback Hayden Farmer of Bayfield High School throws down field during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School on Saturday at BHS.
Bayfield High School head coach Gary Heide talks with his team at the half during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A football state championship game against La Junta High School at BHS.

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